Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Red Light / Green Light

More like "Yellow light"

Yesterday I had my baseline U/S. No problem there. Uterine lining thin, ovaries resting. Check.

Got voice message from Dr. Wonderful: "Jem, I've left you messages at work (bad girl, travelling, I didn't check that voice mail while I was away...) and we may have a delay..."


Dr. Wonderful continued... "I just got a letter from Dr. Johnson (not his real name), the Urologist, who said that he saw Mr. Jem and Mr. Jem has polycystic kidney disease in his family. You need to see a genetic counsellor asap and we need to put the IVF cycle on hold until we know if Mr. Jem carries the gene."

Then Dr. Wonderful said, "If Mr. Jem is a carrier, we can still do IVF, we will do genetic testing on the embryos to select those without the gene. The most important thing is for you to have a healthy baby."

So what does this mean? It means that we have an appointment with the genetic counsellor Wed a.m. Hopefully we can do the testing quickly and together with Dr. Wonderful we will make a decision on what to do next. I suspect Dr. Wonderful will put me back on the BPC pills again for a couple of weeks and get us back on the IVF train.

I was poised and ready to start stims on Friday. Arggghhhh!

Has anyone run into this type of thing?


Friday, September 25, 2009

Message in a bottle... a love letter to our child

My sweet, my love, my precious child(to-be),

This is my first letter to you. My first love letter. I just want to tell you how much I love you, how much I love just staring at your beautiful face, how just watching you sleep makes me happy. I don't even mind that you don't let me get a full night sleep! Or the diapers. Or your for crying for no reason.

I imagine your whole life ahead, the possibility, the joy, the disappointments. I love to watch you discover the world.

I can see you running towards me, "Mommy, I want to show you something!" You hug me. Your little face is dirty, from jam or dust, your hair in swept across your forehead, cowlick sticking up.

You open your little fingers, and show me a special sea shell, an acorn, a rock that glistens in the sun.

We sit down together and you ask me to tell you how the sea shell, acorn, rock got there. You snuggle in my arms, sitting on my lap so I become your chair. Your hair is so fresh, so soft.

"Once upon a time," I begin and together we are transformed into mer-people, diving under the sea. We are walking in the footsteps of the first people to walk under these trees. We will hear the grumble of trolls, the whisper of elven arrows through the deep green canopy of leaves. Sometimes you stop me and ask, "why, mommy, why did that happen?" I reply, "Shhh, be patient, little one, all will be clear..."

I love you for the black eye you got fighting back at the bully, even though your dad told you that next time you should just disarm him with a joke. I love you for bringing home the baby bird that fell from a tree that you tried to nurse back to life, and balled your eyes out for when it didn't make it.

I will always be there for you, to bandage the skinned knees, to console you if you lose a game. I'll be there for the bruised ego, the broken promises, the time-outs. I know you'll probably hate me at times. You'll yell, "You're not the boss of me!" just like I did to my own mom. And you'll be wrong and right at the same time.

Later, much later, you come to me to cry on my shoulder as your teen-aged heart is broken by a lost love, a mean girl or... wait, is that you shooting hoops with Mr. Jem, laughing and discussing Red Sox pitching? Is that the sound of a car door slamming at 11:58 p.m. two minutes before curfew. "Mom, dad, I'm home!" We roll over. Now we can sleep. And now I understand my own mother's worry. Her relief when I would come home on time, in one piece.

I bake you a special cake to celebrate first your birthdays, then your acceptance letter to the college of your choice (not mine, but I'm secretly pleased), your betrothal (is he/she good enough? If you love him/her, than we do, too!) then your own children's birthdays.

I tell you family stories about your great, great grandparents immigrating from Europe. I show you the pictures of the people who would have loved and cherished you so, so much. Gazing at the sepia photos, people in lace shirts, strange hats, stiff poses stare back at us. Somehow, across the years, we feel their love, support and remember them.

I tell you about my own adventures in my 20s, living abroad, learning French, traveling and then choosing to come home to America.

I love you so much for you, for the choices you make, for paintings you bring me so I can hang them of the fridge. I love you for your mistakes, for the time you decide the cat and you both need hair cuts. I'll try not to laugh too much, but if I do, you'll have to forgive me. I can't even promise the whole thing won't end up on You.Tube. What's You.Tube? I'll explain another time. It was all the rage in my day.

I love you for you.

Your mom forever, Jem.


OMG, I hope I don't jinx this IVF cycle by posting this letter to a child who has not yet even been conceived! He or she is definitely a tinkle in dad's eye!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Tick, tock

Waiting, waiting, waiting.

That's what we IFer's are all about. Waiting!

It's day CD9, and I have just a few more days of BCPs to take. I'm already sick of waiting.

Tomorrow I fly to Dallas for work. Just glad I'm not traveling while stimming, not that I know what that will be like, being an IVF "virgin."

Nothing else to report... waiting...


Monday, September 21, 2009

Welcome IComLeavWe'ers

This is my first IComLeavWe post. I am so grateful to be part of this community of people, men and women, who are so open and sharing with the most personal aspects of their lives.


I'm 39 years old, married for 6+ years to Mr. Jem. Marriage just gets better and better and interestingly enough, facing IF has brought us closer together (after the initial denial and anger phase reacting to Male Factor IF). We've been TTC since Jan 07, but Mr. Jem really wasn't ready to deal with IF or a baby for that matter until May of this year.

We have just started our first (and hopefully last) IVF cycle. We will be doing IVF with ICSI, as Mr. Jem's count was so low (600K) and his motility low too. I ovulate and my FSH is in normal range, as is my Estradrol level. We are very optimistic about this cycle. We've been eating really healthfully (organic when we can, no caffeine, no alcohol, eliminating sugar (as best we can), good lean protein, lots of supplements). We're even doing acupuncture. Okay, I'm doing it mostly. Mr. Jem will have some right before his two donations for the IVF (one will be frozen, the other will be fresh). My understanding is that acupuncture right before and after embryo transfer can greatly increase the chance of a viable pregnancy. Gotta do anything possible to make this work.

Thanks for visiting my humble blog. I appreciate all the comments, support and encouragement.


Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Ta-da! My Tentative IVF Schedule

I received my IVF schedule on Tuesday (CD 3), same day I started BCPs. I’ll be taking them until Sept 27th (CD 15). Baseline U/S is already schedule for Monday Sept 28th (CD 16) to make sure that my ovaries were sufficiently suppressed. I begin stimming on Oct 2 (CD 20) after taking injection class with Mr. Jem (gotta get him involved in the process).

“What meds will be injected into your tender flesh?” you ask.

225 IU Foll.istim and 75 IU Meno.pur with a 81 mg Asp.irin chaser.

First follicle check on Oct 6 and then Dr. Wonderful has me tentatively starting Gan.ir.elix Oct 8 (CD 25). HCG with Ovi.dr.el (Rx TBD) and the rest depends on how things goes (don’t want to jinx anything!). Basically, by roughly Nov 1, we should have our BFX.

Wow, is this really happening?

I don’t think it will feel real until I, or rather we start stimming. I now know why couple say, “We’re pregnant.” I used to find this very obnoxious and pretentious. “What’s this “we” stuff? Only a woman can get pregnant.” I now get it. For non-IF couples, “it takes two to tango” but with us IF’ers, boy, is it a “we” a big, fat “WE!” – me, Mr. Jem, Dr. Wonderful, IVF Coordinator Ivonne, Dr. Needles, and countless others. Oh, and the support of our wonderful families. And all of you, interweb-anauts. Couldn’t do it without you and your support, too.


Sunday, September 13, 2009


It's official. Today is CD1. I will start BCPs on Tuesday. Along with more bloodwork on Tuesday.



Saturday, September 12, 2009

Absent Aunt Florence

It's CD30 and still no visit. No final punctuation to then end of the sentence. Hmmm. Could it be? Could I be? I'm almost afraid to hope...

Goes to show you that there's still a large part of me in denial about needing medical intervention to get preggers, needing IVF. I'd so love to just avoid the whole procedure, the whole mess.

Denial, not just a river in Egypt!


Friday, September 11, 2009

Dumb question re: cycle day 1

AF is early. I started spotting today around 10:00 a.m.

Is today CD1 or tomorrow?

So confused...


Update: I just spoke to Ivonne, my IVF Coordinator, and she said that if full flow starts tonight, I should call her tomorrow morning and tomorrow will be CD1.

Take Me To Your Leader

Today is CD 29. Just one more to go before IVF starts.

I just got these knitting patterns by KittingAtKNoon in the mail from an online yarn store. I am looking forward to starting them this weekend (still finishing up a sweater from last summer).

To those knitters or other crafters out there, what are you working on?


Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Spice of Life

Okay, it's CD 28 and I'm really psyched about starting IVF.

I'm trying hard not to become completely obsessive and spend the whole day reading blogs - might get my butt fired! And then how would we pay for IVF?

I've been distracting myself with other websites, too. While at my mom's house, she turned me on to this wonderful sourse of spices and herbs: Penszys Spices. These are the freshest, most wonderful spices I have ever tried. I love the catelog, which is filled with amazing recipes, pictures of happy customers and kids'drawings.

I just ordered the Herb Gift Box for my in-laws. I know they will will really appreciate it.

Okay, interwebenauts, talk to you later!


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

CD 27

Wow, I'm just three days away from starting my IVF cycle. I've been bombarding my IVF coordinator with questions...

"Can I travel day CD 13?" (answer: "yes")

"Will it be harmful for me and my DH to paint our guest room / nursery?" (answer: "Not if you wear a mask and gloves")

"How do I take the BCP's during the next cycle? Do I start with the placebo/sugar pills like I used to do?" (answer: "No, you don't take the sugar pills. You'll start with the hormone pills on day 3.")

My other concern is that I'll have ER or ET on the day of my big golf tournament. I'm one of the charity fundraising co-chairs organizing the raffle/silent auction and there's a ton to do to set up, etc.

But, frankly. What's more important? Golf or a baby?

Yes, I know the answer is categorically "BABY!!"

Wow, I am filled with anticipation and hope. I'm more than a little nervous, too. I haven't gotten my protocol yet, so I don't know what to expect. I have been reading blogs about other's experiences with IVF. It's so good to know I'm not alone, even though I don't wish this on anyone.

Wow. It's a lot to think about, to take in.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Oregon bound

Tomorrow Mr. Jem and I will fly up to Eugene Oregon to visit my parents. We are both looking forward to a weekend of relaxation, eating good, fresh food (my parents are amazing gardeners), and playing golf.

Here's a picture of me playing with ladies from my women's golf association earlier this year.
Golf is such a fun sport and a great way to bond with my family. My step-father got me playing last Labor Day during our annual Oregon pilgrimage last year. I've gone from complete beginner with no swing, to decent beginner, with a swing, and working on my short game. Did I mention I love the sport? So relaxing and exhilarating, all at the same time. And never boring!

So, anyways, it should be a good weekend with the 'rents. They are so supportive of our IF situation. Yes, they want grand kids. They did say if we end up with triplets they'll move down to our area in California to help take care of the babies.

Hope everyone has a wonderful Labor Day weekend. Here's to all of us succeeding and having our very own (baby) labor day! And for all those adoptive parents (future and -to-be), you rock!


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Holding a baby

Yesterday I held a baby.

At least I didn't look like the picture above!
(BTW, this is NOT a political blog, by any means! This photo just made me laugh.)

The baby in question is neighbor's two month year old son. Standing their in my neighbor's driveway, with this precious little creature in my arms filled me with both longing and abject terror. Yes, dear readers, babies terrify me.

What am I supposed to do with them? Okay, I know how to hold them (support the head). But then what?

Let me explain: I'm an only child. My cousins lived far away. Most of my close friends are single women or married couples without children. I am rarely around children, let alone babies.

I feel so lame.

I really want to be a mom. Yet I have zero practice/prep/experience with babies.
Will I be a terrible mother? Deep down I know I will be a good mom, love and care for that child. Mr. Jem will be an amazing dad.
Knowing this doesn't change the terror and feeling of total incompetence. And did I mention longing?


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Bride of Frankenstein

Mr. Jem got back from Boston last night. He was there for a whole week, visiting his ailing parents. I really missed him all week, but when he got home, he was so tired and still recovering from spending so much time with his parents that he was emotionally unavailable to me. Plus, it was one day after Ovulation, and, despite having given him plenty of warning ahead of time, he was "too tired" for intimacy (not the first time I've heard this).

I freaked.

All my anger that we can't conceive naturally came out. I cried and cried.
"Why can't this be easy for us? Why do I have to go through medical procedures (IVF with ICSI) when HE'S the one with a problem?!! Why? Why? Why?!"
Luckily, things looked way more rosy this morning. He called me at work and apologized for being distant and hurting me. I apologized for freaking out.
Happy ending (sorta!! We'll see when I get home tonight! LOL)